Is there a script or program that will automatically download the names of jazz album sidemen?
November 6, 2008 9:54 PM   Subscribe

I have a few hundred jazz albums on MP3 in my iTunes library. I'd to add the names of the sidemen on the albums to the MP3's comment tags, but I'd rather not enter the info manually, for obvious reasons. Is there any form of script or program that exists that will do this for me -- perhaps pulling from Amazon, or some other source? (Prefix this with, "Hey, Lazyweb," if desired.)

So, for example, I'd like the comment (or some other) tag for "Kind of Blue - So What" to read Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb
posted by tweebiscuit to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you are using a Mac, this script (created by Doug, the absolute master of Applescripts written for iTunes) is about as close as you are going to get. Granted, it won't do everything for you (it won't even collect the data for you) but it will make the process of adding the comments to the songs much easier (once the data is already collected).

I highly doubt you will find a script that has been written to do exactly what you are talking about. You'd have to write one on your own using Amazon's API and something like PHP or ASP.
posted by JPowers at 10:44 PM on November 6, 2008

I'm not familiar with jazz, so forgive me if this is a stupid question.

Are the sidemen consistently used by the main artist? Does Charlie Parker always use the same people, or is it a case where they grab someone for an album/song and that's it?

If they stay the same, you can edit multiple song's tags IIRC (I use Winamp and MediaMonkey but did have iTunes in the past).

Yes, that would still be manual editing. But it would cut the job down.
posted by theichibun at 5:51 AM on November 7, 2008

I don't think that you can do this, though I can see why you would want this. Now I wish I could write this script.

The Amazon API, as far as I can tell, does not have the information that you want. The All Music Guide appears to have personnel information on a per-album basis, but not a per-song basis. AMG wouldn't help anyway because they don't provide a public API (previously).

Maybe there's some sort of fan-created database of jazz personnel out there? I googled and found, but it's a bit underwhelming despite all of the hard work that must have gone into it.

theichibun: Jazz bandleaders often form groups (like "The John Coltrane Quartet"), the lineups of which might remain stable for the duration of a few albums, but it actually isn't that unusual for lineups to be put together for the sake of a single recording session. It's one of the nice advantages of a music form so reliant on improvisation. For that reason, the personnel might change from album to album, and even from song to song.
posted by cobra libre at 7:25 AM on November 7, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, I figured that this was more or less a pipe dream. It looks like does have the relevant information (at least for some albums -- I only checked a few) and an API, but I really wouldn't know what to do with it. I guess I was really hoping that the Lazyweb had made it at some point in the past. Thanks!
posted by tweebiscuit at 5:37 PM on November 7, 2008

Hmm, I hadn't thought of It even specifies if a particular sideman only played on specific tracks of an album (example), and I've verified that the API provides this information.

I'm going to take a shot at this, but AppleScript is a baffling language which I know very little about, and it will probably be slow going. I'm not making any promises, but if I come up with anything, I'll look this question up again and contact you through your profile.
posted by cobra libre at 11:02 AM on November 10, 2008

« Older Can you name this seven note tune?   |   Firefox memory leak Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.